Sign In

The Superman Trilogy, Part I: The Last Son of Krypton

Author
Time
 (Edited)

As I'm sort of stuck in the development of my Episode II rewrite at the moment, I felt it'd be good for me to take a break and focus on writing something else I'd been wanting to write for some time now: a screenplay for my own Superman movie.

Suffice it to say, Superman is my #1 favourite superhero, but none of the live-action films have succeeded in capturing what it is about the character that resonates with me; pretty much everything made until recently has been based off of the lousy Silver/Bronze Age Superman -- a version of the character I have absolutely no love for. I suppose that's come to an end with the Man of Steel movie, but I have no interest in Zach Synder's ultraviolent, angsty caricature of the character. So, in lieu of Hollywood taking its head out of its ass, I'm going to create the Superman I want to see myself.

While my version of Superman is largely inspired by the early post-Crisis Superman of the '80s and '90s, I have also incorporated some ideas and concepts from Superman: The Animated Series, Smallville, the Golden Age Superman stories, and -- to a smaller degree -- the Donner/Lester films, the Silver/Bronze Age stories, and Superman: Birthright.

Like pretty much every other screenplay I've worked on, this is a work in progress; the following post is literally going to consist of everything I've written thus far.

Arrivederci.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

FADE IN

On an alien world in close orbit around a red dwarf star. It is a black-and-blue terrestrial planet, roughly the same size as Earth.

EXT. ALIEN LANDSCAPE — DAY — TRAVELLING

Far above the surface, we find a PRISM-BIRD in flight. True to its name, the plumage of the extraterrestrial avian shimmers with iridescence as dim sunlight plays over the feathers. We stay with the prism-bird as it travels over the landscape. On the ground below rises a forest. The flora much resembles the kind found on Earth — trees, bushes — though here, it is black rather than green. Canals cut through the forest, irrigating the pitch vegetation.

The forest soon gives way to grassland, and the grassland gives way as we clear the wilderness and emerge over Argo, a sprawling metropolis of chrome and crystal. Argo’s towering citadels reach to touch the alice blue sky overhead.

Closing in on one of the citadels, the prism-bird passes through an open picture window, where it alights on the waiting arm of its owner.

INT. CITADEL/SOLARIUM — DAY

The prism-bird roosting on her arm, the humanoid GIRL brings it close. Putting a finger to its neck, she begins stroking it, admiring the colours which scintillate with each stroke. On the cusp of adulthood, the girl is a sight to behold. She is strikingly beautiful, with light blond hair worn up in a French twist, vibrant azure eyes, a straight nose, high cheekbones, and full pink lips. Tall, with a body toned with lithe muscle, she radiates elegance while carrying an aura of assertive strength about her. She is clad in a skintight bodysuit; violet in the centre, black on the sides, an embroidered silver stripe denoting familial affiliation runs down the left side to the knee. From her neck hangs a chrome pendant on a chain; diamond-shaped, the pendant contains an S-shaped sigil.

As the girl attends to her pet, a semi-humanoid automaton of blue metal, KELOR, enters the room from behind. It’s head oblong, its body wasp-like and legless, Kelor stands suspended on a field of antigravity. In an alien tongue, it ADDRESSES her. A violent tremor then reverberates through the building, shaking its very foundations. A grave expression passes over the girl’s face. After several seconds, the tremor passes. The girl RESPONDS to Kelor’s statement. Satisfied with the response, the robot leaves the chamber.

Turning her attention back to the prism-bird, the girl looks into its gold eyes, and it looks into hers. Giving her pet a final smile, she throws her arm up, coaxing the prism-bird back through the window, out into the open air.

CUT TO

The prism-bird as it returns to the pale sky, beating its wings until it catches an updraft.

The avian facing the red sun, the light shines through its feathers. A beautiful halo momentarily forms around the creature.

CUT TO

A close-up of the girl’s despondent face.

INT. TRANSPORT SHUTTLE — DAY

The girl sits on a cushioned bench inside the automated shuttle, Kelor floating before her. Through the forward viewport can be seen the length of the maglev tunnel outside.

EXT. ARGO — DAY

The tremors return. Though they tremble, the citadels remain erect.

INT. LAUNCH COMPLEX/CONTROL CENTRE — DAY

Inside the horseshoe-shaped control centre we find SIX HUMANOIDS and TEN AUTOMATONS at computer stations. These humanoids, four men and two women, are attired in black bodysuits which hide every millimetre of their skin save for their fingers and faces; over their bodysuits, they all wear varicoloured scapulars bearing silver stripes. A wraparound pane of transparent green crystal is all that separates the control centre from the adjacent launch pad. Down in the launch pad, aligned vertically, is a chrome starcraft. Sporting six stabilizer fins in a vaguely hexagramal configuration around its base, it is large enough to accommodate one adult rider.

INT. LAUNCH COMPLEX/LAUNCH PAD — DAY

The girl stands on the launch pad. Having changed into a featureless black bodysuit like the ones worn by those in the control centre, she allows five automatons to assist her into a chrome spacesuit.

EXT. ARGO — DAY

The tremors intensify. The crystal and chrome facades of the citadels fracture and shatter.

INT. LAUNCH COMPLEX/LAUNCH PAD — DAY

The girl encased in her chrome suit, the automatons move away. Kelor then approaches, a green crystal in its hands. Taking the crystal, she secrets it in one of her suit compartments. Sealing her helmet in place, she then crosses the reverberating chamber to the awaiting starcraft.

INT. STARCRAFT/COCKPIT — DAY

Climbing through the open canopy into her seat, the girl brings the vessel’s systems online. With the push of a button, the canopy closes over her.

INT. LAUNCH COMPLEX/CONTROL CENTRE — DAY

The interior lighting begins flickering erratically. One of the humanoids manipulates a dial on their control panel.

EXT. ARGO — DAY

From all across the city, several other starcraft are launched from several different locations. These craft, all far smaller than the girl’s, consist of large ovoid crystal pods affixed to hexagramal bases of solid chrome. They ascend into the heavens as the earth below splits open, sending buildings toppling.

INT. LAUNCH COMPLEX/LAUNCH PAD — DAY

The ceiling overhead irises open. With a tremendous burst of speed, the girl’s starcraft rockets up, passing through the portal into a shaft leading outside.

EXT. ARGO — DAY

A great geyser of green energy blasts through the earth, annihilating several hundred buildings instantaneously. A great shockwave follows the blast; it plows through the surrounding buildings, pulverizing them.

INT. LAUNCH COMPLEX/CONTROL CENTRE — DAY

The chamber caves in. No one has the chance to even cry out before they’re buried under kilometres of rubble.

EXT. ALIEN WORLD — MONTAGE

Passing across the face of the planet, we see Argo isn’t the only area succumbing to cataclysm. Great jets of radioactive energy — some coloured green, others red, blue, white, gold, and various other colours — erupt everywhere, in every continent, in every ocean, irradiating everything.

EXT. ALIEN WORLD — DAY

As over a hundred starcraft make the climb to space, the planet literally begins breaking apart below. Eruptions spring up all over the world, throwing radioactive debris into the dying sky. Though protected by particle shielding, a majority of the ships are too close to the cataclysm; they are critically damaged or destroyed outright by the varicoloured fragments.

INT. STARCRAFT/COCKPIT

Her hull is pierced by impacting detritus. Radiation momentarily floods the cockpit, passing through the girl. Spasming once, she falls limp, deathly still in her seat.

EXT. SPACE — ALIEN WORLD

As the surviving starcraft leave the planet’s gravity field, the stellar body explodes. In an instant, the surface is boiled down and the atmosphere ignites. What was once an inhabited world is now a molten sphere of radioactive death.

Safe in the tranquil blackness of space, the remaining starcraft set upon their voyage. Hyper-light drives engaging, the smaller starcraft jump to hyperspace; they will reach their destination inside twenty-four years. As for the larger, damaged starcraft, its hyper-light drive has been rendered inoperable; it will have to make the long trek through normal space, at luminal speed alone.

TITLE: THE LAST SON OF KRYPTON

Arrivederci.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

FADE TO

The grounds of a farm on a cold, overcast winter day.

Complete with a quaint, medium-sized house, a large barn, a silo, corn fields, and a wide open pasture, the farm is nothing short of impressive.

SUPERIMPOSE: SMALLVILLE, KANSAS — NOVEMBER 1913

CUT TO

The front door of the house as it swings open, allowing a man out into the cold, brisk air.

In his mid thirties, JONATHAN KENT is a tall, ruggedly handsome man with dirty blond hair. Though clad in a heavy winter coat, a pair of thick black wool gloves, and a winter cap, Jonathan still feels the sharp winter chill stab into his bones. Wasting as little time as possible, he closes the door, then with hand crank in hand, leaves the porch for his blue pickup truck, a year-old Ford Model T.

As he gets to the vehicle and inserts the crank to prime the engine, the front door opens yet again, allowing his wife MARTHA out onto the porch. A lovely woman with long auburn hair, crystal blue eyes, and fair skin, she isn’t much younger than her husband. Clad in a warm beige sweater, she still hugs her arms close to her as the winter breeze sweeps over her.

JONATHAN: (surprised) Martha! (beat) I thought you were asleep, honey.

MARTHA: I woke up. Now you mind telling me where on Earth you’re going in this ungodly weather?

JONATHAN: Into town to get some supplies. I’ll be back in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.

Nodding silently, Martha then looks to the sky. The gray clouds, thick and dark, are heavy with the promise of snow.

MARTHA: I think a storm’s about to hit. We really should bring the cattle in before nightfall.

JONATHAN: We’ll do it after I get back.

MARTHA: I think I’ll come along with you. Let me get my coat.

JONATHAN: (frowns) What are you saying?

MARTHA: I’m coming along, silly. (frowns) Is there a reason you don’t want me to?

JONATHAN: No … no reason.

MARTHA: (cocks eyebrow) I’ll be just a second.

As Martha slips back inside, Jonathan remains standing by the side of his truck. Staring at his feet, he lazily kicks at the snow on the ground.

JONATHAN: Dammit….

EXT. SMALLVILLE — STREET — DAY

Entering the urban centre of Smallville, the Kents’ truck cuts through the snow and slush on the roads.

INT. TRUCK/CAB — DAY

Sitting in the cold cab on the passenger’s side, Martha vigorously rubs her mittened hands together for warmth. Turning to her husband, she regards him with a suspicious gaze. Noticing her stare, Jonathan tries ignoring it, keeping his eyes focused on the road ahead.

EXT. SMALLVILLE — TOWN SQUARE — NELL’S BOUQUET — DAY

Nearing his destination, Jonathan slows down. Coming to a stop, he parks the truck and shuts the engine off.

INT. TRUCK/CAB — DAY

Martha looks out her window. Standing there, identified by the large sign set above the front door, is Nell’s Bouquet, a flower shop.

MARTHA: This isn’t the general store. (faces Jonathan)

JONATHAN: (averts gaze) There’s … Nell telephoned earlier, placed an order. I figured I’d stop here before going to Phineas’.

MARTHA: (perplexed) Placed an order…? (beat) Jonathan —

Not waiting for her to complete her thought, Jonathan opens his door and climbs out, shutting it quickly to keep what little heat he can inside.

INT. NELL’S BOUQUET — DAY

Jonathan enters the flower shop, taking care to knock the snow off his boots before walking to the front counter. There, reading a fashion magazine, is ELEANOR POTTER. An attractive brunette, she’s of the same basic age as Jonathan and Martha.

JONATHAN: Afternoon, Nell.

NELL: (looks up from magazine; smiles) Jonathan! What a surprise! (beat) What brings the reclusive Mr. Kent into town — especially in this weather?

JONATHAN: Tulips. Red ones, if you have them.

NELL: (gestures to large, exotic-looking flower) How about a tiger orchid?

JONATHAN: No thanks. Martha’s always had her heart set on tulips.

NELL: (drops smile) Yes, well, they’re a very uncomplicated flower.

An uncomfortable silence develops between them. Saying no more, Nell goes to get Jonathan his tulips.

INT. TRUCK/CAB — DAY

Reading a magazine — the very same magazine Nell was reading in her store, oddly enough — Martha doesn’t notice Jonathan return. Opening his door, he slips inside and then, with perhaps too much haste, presents her a bouquet of beautiful red tulips.

JONATHAN: Happy anniversary, sweetheart.

MARTHA: (eyes widen) Jonathan! (takes flowers) This is why you wanted to go into town alone.

JONATHAN: (smiles thinly) I was also going to pick up a bottle of wine. (beat) It was going to be a surprise.

MARTHA: Oh, darling, I’m sorry. (kisses Jonathan) Thank you.

EXT. SPACE — MARS

After decades traversing the void between worlds, the small crystal-and-chrome starcraft has finally arrived in the solar system. Having spent the last few hours passing through the outer planets, it is now making its way past the red planet and its twin moons.

EXT. KENT FARM — PASTURE — DAY

Having returned from town and traded the truck in for a pair of horses, the Kents now ride through the pasture, rounding up their cattle and herding them back towards the barn. The sky is now a deep, dark gray and snowfall has begun.

EXT. SPACE — EARTH

The starcraft enters the atmosphere.

EXT. KENT FARM — PASTURE — DAY

Just as the Kents finish directing the remaining wayward cows and steers into joining the rest of the herd, a large fireball comes streaking down from the sky above. Their jaws dropping, Jonathan and Martha watch as the spaceborne object passes overhead like a fallen angel, crashing with a resounding BOOM at the far end of the pasture.

MARTHA: (shocked) What in —‽

Overcoming her initial shock, Martha digs her heels in her horse’s sides; with a burst of speed, she begins galloping towards the crash site.

JONATHAN: (alarmed) Martha, what are you doing‽ Martha!

Kicking his own horse into gear, Jonathan takes off after his wife.

Minutes later, the Kents arrive at the site. There before them, smoking and stinking of scorched earth, is a large crater. Climbing off their horses, they approach it and the object nestled inside.

JONATHAN: Oh my God….

MARTHA: Jonathan, what is it?

Standing inside the crater, its surface unmarked and unscathed by either the entry or crash, is the starcraft.

JONATHAN: It looks like a type of rocket.

MARTHA: Rocket?

JONATHAN: Like the one in that story — the story about the scientist who flew a rocketship to Venus. It’s in one of my magazines.

Stepping into the crater, Martha makes her way to the strange craft.

JONATHAN: Martha! Stay clear!

MARTHA: (peers into pod) But look, Jonathan! There’s something inside! Something alive!

Climbing down into the crater, Jonathan joins his wife by the vessel. Looking into the murky crystal pod, he, too, can just barely make out something alive and moving within.

JONATHAN: Maybe it’s a dog or monkey. The scientist in the story used them to test how rocket travel affected living beings. (touches pod) That’s funny — it’s cool. With how it came in all afire, you’d think —

Before Jonathan can finish his thought, the crystal under his touch liquefies, drawing away from him. Alarmed, he jumps back. A perfectly round hole opened in the pod’s side, one can now see clearly the nature of the creature inside. Curled up in a ball, dressed in a black bodysuit which conceals all but its face, is an infant child.

MARTHA: (surprised) Oh, Jonathan — it’s a baby!

Reaching into the pod, Martha takes hold of the child and lifts him out. Almost immediately, he starts CRYING.

MARTHA: (cradles child) Those monsters! They put a poor little baby in a rocketship, and then they shot him off to the moon or somewheres! What kind of people are they‽

Holding the baby to her, Martha begins rubbing his back. In moments, the child’s wailing begins to subside. Very soon he is calm and peaceful, asleep with his face nestled in her bosom.

JONATHAN: I — I’ll ride back and bring the truck around.

INT. TRUCK/CAB — DAY

Martha and Jonathan are now seated inside the truck, riding back to the homestead. With the baby asleep inside her arms, she smiles.

EXT. KENT FARM — KENT HOME — DAY

Pulling up beside the house, Jonathan and Martha climb out. The snow falling heavy now, the wind blowing fierce, it’s all but apparent that a fierce blizzard’s hit Smallville.

JONATHAN: Get inside the house, Martha. I’m going to make sure the animals are okay, then I’ll join you inside.

Bracing her and the child against the biting wind, Martha runs to the house while Jonathan shields his face and sprints over to the barn.

INT. KENT HOME/LIVING ROOM — DAY

Tossing a log into the blazing fireplace, Jonathan rubs his hands together for warmth before crossing over to his armchair. Sitting down, he looks across at Martha, who sits on the sofa, feeding the baby a bottle.

MARTHA: (smiling) It’s a good thing we hung onto those bottles Nancy left here last week. There’s no way we’d be able to go to the store for some in this blizzard.

Jonathan doesn’t know what to say, so he just looks upon his wife and the foundling child, a thousand thoughts all coursing through his mind.

Arrivederci.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

EXT. KENT FARM — KENT HOME — DAY

Night has passed and a new day has begun. With the blizzard over, Jonathan gets in his truck and begins moving up the long driveway which will get him onto the road into town. He only gets a fourth of the way up the driveway, however, before his wheels sink into the heavy sheet of fresh-fallen snow, refusing to go any further.

INT. TRUCK/CAB — DAY

JONATHAN: (frustrated) Sonuva— (shifts gears) Let’s try that again.

The engine roars and the tires spin, but the vehicle refuses to proceed any further through the fresh, glittering snow.

JONATHAN: (sighs) Wonderful.

INT. KENT HOME/LIVING ROOM — DAY

Martha is sitting cross-legged on the floor, playing with the baby, when Jonathan walks in.

JONATHAN: The truck got stuck in the snow and I can’t get it out. We won’t be going into town for a while.

MARTHA: (frowns) But the child — we haven’t enough bottles.

JONATHAN: (sits down on sofa) We’ll rustle up some homemade baby food from the preserves in the fruit cellar.

MARTHA: But Jonathan —

JONATHAN: (angry) It’s a full day’s walk into town, Martha, and that’s with a clear road! (beat) It’s the best we can do for the boy right now.

A moment of silence passes between the man and wife.

MARTHA: It’s going to be a while 'til we can leave.

JONATHAN: I reckon it’s gonna take 'til the first spring thaw before I get the truck free of the snow.

MARTHA: So we’re in for the long haul.

JONATHAN: There’s enough feed to keep the animals the next few months and we’re well stocked up. (beat) We’ll be fine, Martha. Perfectly fine.

As Martha looks upon the baby boy crawling about the carpeted floor, her face solemn, he looks up at her and gives her a big, toothless smile.

MARTHA: From your lips to God’s ears, Jonathan.

KENT FARM — MONTAGE

As the winter months pass by, Jonathan works to keep the animals fed and the firewood stocked while Martha attends to the needs of the boy. Day after day, week after week, both Martha and Jonathan find themselves growing evermore attached to the child.

EXT. KENT FARM — ROAD — DAY

It is now early March and the sky is a clear, sunny blue. Jonathan makes his way to the truck.

JONATHAN: (rests hand on truck) Well, girl, let’s see how Old Man Winter’s been to you.

Turning the crank, he then slips inside and turns the key, automatically bringing the engine to life. Shifting gears, he backs up.

INT. KENT HOME/DINING ROOM — DAY

Martha is at the table, feeding the giggling baby boy, as Jonathan strides in. Putting the spoon in her hand down, Martha turns to acknowledge her husband.

JONATHAN: The snow’s receded, Martha. I’ll be able to … to take the child into town. Sheriff Miller’ll know what to do for him there.

Returning to the child, Martha takes a napkin and cleans his mouth.

MARTHA: You’re right. After all, we can’t keep him. It’d be irrational. Hell, it’d be insane. A baby boy fell from the sky; we just can’t keep him. (beat) Even if it was monstrous for someone to put a child in a rocket….

JONATHAN: Martha….

MARTHA: (cont’d) Even if the Birches are on their fourth and I … (crying) and I can’t keep a child.

Overwhelmed by her emotions, Martha walks out of the room.

JONATHAN: Martha!

INT. KENT HOME/LIVING ROOM — DAY

Collapsing onto the sofa, Martha stares into space as tears stream down her face. Joining her, Jonathan places an arm around her shoulder.

JONATHAN: Good Lord, Martha, do you realize what you’re asking that we do? We don’t even know if he … if he’s from here. We don’t know —

MARTHA: (faces him) No, we don’t. We don’t know where he came from or if anyone will come for him, but if there’s anyone who might stand a chance to do right by that child, come what may, it’s you and me. Don’t … don’t you just know it? (beat) Don’t we deserve a chance to try?

Rising, Martha leaves Jonathan and walks over to a liquor cabinet. Opening it up, she takes a tall bottle of whiskey and a pair of glasses. Taking a seat in the armchair, she places the glasses and bottle down on a small table beside it.

JONATHAN: What’s the whiskey for?

MARTHA: (fills a glass) If we decide to keep the child, I’m going to pour you a glass and we’re going to celebrate. If we don’t … whiskey’s more convenient and less painful than a log to the head. (beat) While you take him into town, I’ll be doing everything in my power to forget the last couple of months ever happened.

As Martha takes a sip of her whiskey, Jonathan sits there, looking on her with brow furrowed in thought. Moments pass, then he gets up. Crossing over to her, he takes up the bottle of whiskey and the empty glass.

JONATHAN: I don’t want to be called “pop” — I’m not an old man. (fills glass) “Pa” has a nice ring to it.

Her face lighting up with a full grin, Martha raises her glass. Returning her grin with a smile, he brings up his own glass, clinking it against hers in a toast to their new parenthood.

INT. NELL’S BOUQUET — DAY

A lean, balding man in thick glasses stands before the front counter as Nell wraps a bouquet of flowers for him. Once she has finished securing the wrapping paper in place, she brings the bundle of beautiful flowers to the front and presents them to her waiting customer.

NELL: That’ll be $1.30.

As he hands her the money, she hands him the flowers.

DAN: You have a good day, Nell.

NELL: You too, Dan.

As Dan leaves the counter and walks out the door, another customer — a short woman with shoulder-length blond hair — walks in. With barely contained enthusiasm, she strides up to the counter.

NELL: Hi, Rose. What can I do for you today?

ROSE GREER: (grins) Did you hear the news?

NELL: What news?

ROSE GREER: The Kents came in today.

NELL: The Kents? What about them?

ROSE GREER: Remember that storm four months ago? The big one?

NELL: The one that toppled the tree in my sister’s backyard?

ROSE GREER: (nods) It snowed in the Kents’ farm somethin’ fierce — buried it beneath a quilt of snow. That’s why they haven’t been in town since it hit; they couldn’t drive out.

NELL: And so?

ROSE GREER: You won’t believe what’s happened.

NELL: (loses patience) Well out with it!

ROSE GREER: They had a baby!

NELL: (taken aback) A baby? Martha?

ROSE GREER: Uh-huh. Looks like Jon put the bun in her oven some months back. (beat) You remember the ugly business with the miscarriages and that stillbirth —

NELL: Yes, of course.

ROSE GREER: (cont’d) Well, not wanting to give anybody’s hopes up, they decided to keep it hush-hush — you know, just in case it didn’t keep. (beat) Anyway, Martha delivered a baby boy while cooped up in that there farm. He’s got the most gorgeous blue eyes.

NELL: You’ve seen him?

ROSE GREER: Well, no — that’s why I came to see you. I thought you’d like to pay Jon and Martha a visit with me.

NELL: Why, certainly. (smiles thinly) Why not?

EXT. KENT FARM — KENT HOME — DAY

Having arrived together, Nell and Rose walk up the porch steps to the front door. Rose brings up her closed fist, announcing their presence with three quick RAPS on the door. A moment passes, then Jonathan answers the door.

JONATHAN: (grins broadly) Nell! Rose!

Leaning forward, he gives both women a quick hug.

JONATHAN: You came to see the baby?

ROSE GREER: (grins) But of course. Can we come in?

JONATHAN: Follow me into the living room!

With no further need of persuasion on his part, the two women enter the Kent home.

INT. KENT HOME/LIVING ROOM — DAY

As Jonathan leads Nell and Rose inside, we find several family members and friends gathered around Martha, who sits on the armchair with the baby boy bundled up in her arms. As Rose and Nell approach the mother and child, their mouths fall agape.

NELL: Martha … the boy …

ROSE GREER: He’s beautiful.

MARTHA: (beams) Thank you.

Standing at Martha’s side, Jonathan rests a hand on her shoulder.

JONATHAN: Eleanor Potter, Rose Greer, meet Clark Joseph Kent.

As the two women look down upon them. Clark meets their gaze and, smiling a wide, toothless smile, releases a GIGGLE of delight.

Arrivederci.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

EXT. KENT FARM — KENT HOME — SUNSET

Over thirteen months have passed. Nearing the end of a mid-April day, the sky, though partially overcast, is aglow with the light of an obscured setting sun.

Making her way down the long driveway to the Kent’s home, the bright chartreuse paint job of her bicycle making it glare like a beacon against the drabbier surroundings, is ROSALYN, a slim, eighteen-year-old girl with long, blond hair. As she breaks to a halt beside the Kent’s blue Ford, she announces her arrival with a short series of loud HONKS from her bike’s horn.

INT. KENT HOUSE/HALL — SUNSET

Martha, dressed in an elegant red dress with her auburn hair perfectly styled, hears the honking outside.

MARTHA: Jonathan! The babysitter’s here!

INT. KENT HOUSE/JONATHAN & MARTHA’S BEDROOM — SUNSET

Jonathan, dressed in an elegant brown suit, stands before a full-length mirror as he desperately tries tying a bow tie around his neck.

JONATHAN: (frowns as knot slips) I’ll be right down, honey!

INT. KENT HOUSE/HALL — SUNSET

MARTHA: Are you having trouble with your bow again?

INT. KENT HOUSE/JONATHAN & MARTHA’S BEDROOM — SUNSET

JONATHAN: It’s alright, Martha! Just give me an extra second!

EXT. KENT FARM — KENT HOUSE — SUNSET

Climbing off her bike, the slim blonde makes her way onto the porch and knocks on the door.

INT. KENT HOME/ENTRANCE HALL — SUNSET

Martha opens the front door. Rosalyn smiles broadly.

ROSALYN: Hi, Mrs. Kent.

MARTHA: Hello, Rosalyn.

ROSALYN: (peers over Martha’s shoulder) Where’s Mr. Kent?

MARTHA: He’s upstairs getting dressed. He’ll be down momentarily.

INT. KENT HOME/JONATHAN & MARTHA’S BEDROOM — SUNSET

Jonathan, his endeavour to tie his bow tie meeting with failure, grows irate.

JONATHAN: Goddamn stupid sonuva—!

INT. KENT HOME/ENTRANCE HALL — SUNSET

Turning away from Roz, Martha looks toward the stairs leading up to her and Jonathan’s bedroom in the storey above.

MARTHA: Jonathan? Rosalyn’s here. Are you ready to go?

INT. KENT HOME/JONATHAN & MARTHA’S BEDROOM — SUNSET

JONATHAN: (yells) No! (beat; calmer) No, sweetheart! Not yet!

INT. KENT HOME/ENTRANCE HALL — SUNSET

MARTHA: (faces Rosalyn) I’m going to see what’s taking my husband. You come right on in and make yourself comfortable.

At that, Martha leaves for the stairs.

INT. KENT HOME/JONATHAN & MARTHA’S BEDROOM — SUNSET

Martha enters the bedroom. Turning around, Jonathan greets her with a big, black tarantula dangling from his neck.

MARTHA: (sighs) Oh, Jonathan.

Approaching her husband, Martha undoes the scrambled ribbon around his neck and begins reconfiguring it into an actual bow.

JONATHAN: I never was very good at tying regular ties let alone these danged bows.

MARTHA: You’re just flustered — worried that something’s gonna happen to Clark while we’re away.

JONATHAN: This’ll be the first time we’ve ever been away from him. What if something goes wrong, Martha?

MARTHA: Nothing’ll go wrong, Jonathan. Roz’ll take good care of our boy.

JONATHAN: (frowns) I’m not sure I trust that girl, Martha. Are you sure she’s on the up-and-up?

MARTHA: She’s babysat for Sarah and Rose’s girls, Jonathan, and they’ve had nothing but the best to say about her.

JONATHAN: She’s not a nymphomaniac, is she?

MARTHA: (giggles) Oh, Jonathan, stop fussing so over the babysitter! Rosalyn’s a good, clean girl; she wouldn’t do anything like that, especially not in our own home.

JONATHAN: (sighs) I guess you’re right. (beat) Besides, we’re in need of a break. Clark’s proven himself quite the handful this past year.

MARTHA: It comes with the territory. (finishes tying tie) There — good to go.

Turning back to the mirror, Jonathan inspects himself. Making a few slight adjustments to the black bow tie, he turns back to Martha, takes her in his arms, and plants a kiss squarely on her lips.

JONATHAN: Let’s go see the babysitter before she performs a striptease for our son.

MARTHA: (grins) You’re incorrigible, Jonathan Kent.

INT. KENT HOME/LIVING ROOM — DAY

Rosalyn stands in the centre of the living room, looking in over Clark who crawls about in his playpen. The boy, having grown over the past several months, now sports a full head of rich, black hair. Clad in a powder blue romper, wooden and stuffed toys scattered all about him, he grins and giggles up at the teenaged girl standing over him.

JONATHAN: (O.C.) I see you two’ve already made acquaintance.

Turning around, Rosalyn finds Martha and Jonathan standing together in the doorway.

ROSALYN: (grins) Gosh, you two look great! Like a pair of bona fide Rockefellers!

MARTHA: (beams) Thank you, Roz. Thank you very much.

Sensing the presence of his parents, Clark stands up in his pen on what are incredibly sturdy legs for a child his age. Leaping up, he tries to grab hold of the pen’s rim to pull himself up and over.

CLARK: Ieiu! Ieiu, ieiu!

ROZ: (frowns) Jee-joo?

JONATHAN: Clark says that whenever Martha’s around. Just baby talk.

Crossing over to the playpen, Jonathan bends over and, smiling, playfully tugs on Clark’s right hand.

JONATHAN: Hey, little man, cut that out, alright?

CLARK: Ukr! Ukr, ukr, ukr!

JONATHAN: He says that whenever I’m around.

EXT. KENT FARM — KENT HOME — DAY

Jonathan, Martha, and Rosalyn step out of the house and make their way down the steps.

MARTHA: (to Rosalyn) Remember, if anything happens — anything at all — just reach us at the number we left you.

ROSALYN: Will do, Mrs. Kent.

Crossing over to the Ford, Jonathan opens the passenger door for Martha. Stepping forward, she slides on inside the vehicle, accidentally flashing her long, fair legs as she does so. Once she is fully inside, Jonathan closes the door and walks on over to the front of the truck to crank the engine. Once that is done, he climbs inside and starts the Ford up.

ROSALYN: Have a good time!

Pulling out of the driveway, Jonathan waves to Rosalyn as he makes his way up the driveway. Grinning broadly, she waves back.

INT. KENT HOME/DINING ROOM — NIGHT

After feeding Clark his supper, Rosalyn cleans the baby up and takes him out of his high chair.

ROSALYN: That was a great supper, wasn’t it, Clarkie? Strained carrots and spinach! Yum-yum!

INT. KENT HOME/LIVING ROOM — NIGHT

Making her way into the living room, Rosalyn returns Clark to his playpen.

ROSALYN: You be a good boy, now, Clark. I’ve just got to make a telephone call to a friend, then I’ll be right back, okay?

Grinning, Clark GIGGLES. Smiling down at the baby boy, Rosalyn then leaves him to himself.

INT. KENT HOME/KITCHEN — NIGHT

ROSALYN: (on phone) Hello, Chuck, is that you? Good, great! (beat) Yes, I’m at the Kents’ place. Yes, they’re fine folks. (beat) Oh, no, Clark’s been no trouble at all tonight; he’s a perfect dear.

INT. KENT HOME/LIVING ROOM — NIGHT

Standing in his playpen, Clark begins jumping up and down in it again, trying to snag hold of the wooden edge each time he comes in reach of it.

INT. KENT HOME/KITCHEN — NIGHT

ROSALYN: Yes, I wish you could come over, too. It’s rather dull here. (beat) No, Chuck, I don’t think so. (beat) Yes, I did say that, but you still can’t come over. (beat) I still think it’s a bad idea. Remember last time, when I was babysitting Whitney? His parents almost caught us. (beat) You said that that time, too, Chuck. I’m not putting my neck on the line for you again.

INT. KENT HOME/LIVING ROOM — NIGHT

Having caught a firm hold of the playpen’s rim, little Clark pulls himself up. Reaching the top, he topples over, landing on the carpeted floor on the other side. Getting up on his feet, he begins walking over to the sofa. Reaching it, he hauls himself up onto it and then, smiling innocently, crawls to Rosalyn’s purse resting against the far armrest.

INT. KENT HOME/KITCHEN — NIGHT

ROSALYN: Look, Chuck, I can make it up to you. I’m staying over at Susie’s house Saturday night. Her parents are out visiting relatives in Salina, so we’ll be all alone; you and Calvin can come on over. (shocked) Nothing doing!

INT. KENT HOME/LIVING ROOM — NIGHT

Fishing around inside the purse, Clark finally settles on something which catches his eye. Lifting out a stick of paper-wrapped lipstick, the baby grins and giggles with pleasure.

INT. KENT HOME/KITCHEN — NIGHT

ROSALYN: Yes, Chuck, I’ll see you, too. Later, now. Bye-bye.

Hanging up the phone, Rosalyn exhales with exasperation.

INT. KENT HOME/LIVING ROOM — NIGHT

Stepping inside the living room, Rosalyn doesn’t immediately digest the sight which awaits her. After a moment passes, however, it sinks in and she freezes. Her mouth falling agape, eyes virtually bulging from their sockets, she utters a short, startled gasp.

ROSALYN: I declare!

There, on the other side of the room, Clark kneels before the wall, the stick of vibrant red lipstick in his right hand. Scrawled on the wall, written in complex geometric glyphs, is the same indecipherable word written out over-and-over again. Turning toward Rosalyn, Clark smiles.

CLARK: Clark! Clark, Clark, Clark, Clark, Clark!

Arrivederci.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

EXT. SMALLVILLE — BYRNE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL — DAY

We have jumped forward to 1919. Clark is now five years of age and today is his first day of kindergarten. Entering the school grounds, his hand in Martha’s, the young boy takes in the sight of the low brick building and all the children of various ages milling about it.

MARTHA: Here we are, Clark — your first day at school. (looks down at Clark) How do you feel?

CLARK: (looks up at Martha) Why can’t I stay home, Ma? Why can’t you and Pa teach me?

MARTHA: Because all the work we have to do on the farm keeps us busy, dearheart; we don’t have the time to teach you.

CLARK: Can’t you stop working on the farm for awhile?

MARTHA: That’d be nice, Clark, but we can’t. If we don’t work, we can’t pay for food and clothing. Then you’d go cold and hungry.

CLARK: How come teachers don’t have to work? Don’t they have to take care of their farms, too?

MARTHA: Teaching is their job, honey. Different people have different jobs.

Taking his eyes off Martha, Clark looks out at all the children roaming about.

CLARK: There’s so many boys and girls, Ma. What if they don’t like me? (hugs Martha’s leg) I’m scared. I don’t wanna go to school.

Kneeling down, Martha rests her hands on Clark’s small shoulders.

MARTHA: I get scared, too, Clark. I get scared when your pa and I can’t make enough money to pay all our bills; I get scared when it’s dark and I can’t find a light; and I get scared whenever you hurt yourself. But I don’t let my fear control me, Clark; I fight it — fight it hard. I fight it until it goes away. (beat) That’s what you have to do, Clark — fight the fear until it gets scared of you and lets you alone.

Letting go of Martha’s leg, the boy turns his attention back to the other children.

CLARK: I’ll try, Ma.

MARTHA: That’s my boy.

The school bell TOLLS. Hearing the reverberations, the kids begin flocking into the school to start their first day of class.

MARTHA: That’s the school bell, Clark. You remember what it means?

CLARK: It means to go inside and start class.

MARTHA: You remember where your classroom is?

CLARK: Yes.

MARTHA: That’s good. You go now, Clark, and have a good first day. I’ll be back later to pick you up after school’s over.

Tentative, Clark takes a step forward. Turning back, he waves goodbye to his mother. After she waves back, he turns away from her and resumes walking, crossing the grass all the way to the front entrance. Once he has slipped inside, Martha smiles. Turning around, she walks away.

INT. BYRNE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL/CLARK’S CLASSROOM — DAY

All the children have gathered inside and are seated at their tables. Standing at the head of the class, dressed in a gray-brown suit and a pair of thick-framed, square glasses, is MRS. BOGDANOVE, a forty-something woman with graying brown hair and an immovable rictus grin for a smile.

MRS. BOGDANOVE: (unnaturally enthusiastic) Hello, everyone! I’m Mrs. Bogdanove, your kindergarten teacher! This is your first day in school, and I know you’re not used to being away from home yet! I promise, though, that in time you’ll get used to coming to class and you’ll all learn to have fun while you’re here! (beat) Does anyone have any questions?

Had there been any crickets hiding in the classroom, they would’ve burst into song at that moment.

MRS. BOGDANOVE: (cont’d) No questions? No questions at all? (beat) Alright — okay! That’s just fine! It probably means you’re all excited to get to know one another and start learning! (claps hands briskly) Everyone get up, move from your tables, and pair up with a friend or two! Find a place to get comfortable and tell each other your names, what your mamas and papas do, what your favourite colours are — whatever comes to mind! Share and learn! Share and learn!

Under Mrs. Bogdanove’s compulsion, the kids rise from their tables and begin pairing up. Clark, a little more reticent than his classmates, chooses to remain seated while the others spread out within the room. Noticing Clark just sitting there, PETER ROSS — a freckled boy with light blond hair — approaches him.

PETE: Hi, my name’s Pete. What’s yours?

CLARK: Clark.

PETE: My dad owns a creamed corn factory; he makes a lot of creamed corn and packs it up in hundreds of tin cans. What does your dad do?

CLARK: My pa’s a farmer and so’s my ma. We’ve got cows and chickens and wheat and tomatoes and beans and corn, too.

PETE: Maybe my dad gets his corn from your dad.

CLARK: Maybe.

PETE: What’s your favourite colour, Clark? Mine’s green.

CLARK: Red’s my favourite. (beat) No, blue. (frowns) Maybe yellow?

Pete just stands there, staring at Clark. Clark goes silent, freezing up. Then, from out of the blue, Pete begins LAUGHING, guffawing uproariously. The tension broken, Clark LAUGHS right alongside him. Laughing like a pair of hyenas, tears begin running down their faces as everyone else in the room turns to regard them as if they were the strangest two young boys on Earth.

EXT. SMALLVILLE — BYRNE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL — PLAYGROUND — DAY

Some time has passed and the kids of Mrs. Bogdanove’s class have been let out for recess. Walking together, Clark and Pete make their way to the swing set. As they near the swings, they find BRAD WILSON, WHITNEY FORDMAN, and JASON TEAGUE — all in the first and second grade — surrounding and picking on KENNY BRAVERMAN, a small black boy from their class.

BRAD WILSON: How’s your first day in school, boy? Learn anything yet?

WHITNEY FORDMAN: Yeah — you learn where your jungle is on the map, Sambo?

KENNY: (stammering) P-p-please — lemme alone! I didn’t do anything to you!

JASON TEAGUE: You don’t belong here. This is a normal school for normal kids.

BRAD WILSON: Get outta here!

Lunging forward, Whitney shoves Kenny, knocking him to his stomach. Stooping down, he places a hand on the back of Kenny’s head and begins pushing his face into the earth.

WHITNEY FORDMAN: Eat it, nigger! Eat the dirt you’re made of!

As the older kids heap abuse on Kenny, Clark and Pete stand there, frozen, unsure of what to do.

PETE: Maybe we should help him.

CLARK: I don’t know….

As the two five-year-olds ponder on what to do, LANA LANG — a cute girl with bright red hair who is also from their class — strides up to the bullies, an expression of angry indignation creasing her round face.

LANA: You let him alone, you meanies!

Grabbing Whitney’s collar, Lana pulls back, trying to yank him off Kenny. Grabbing her collar, Brad easily pulls Lana away from his friend. Flailing her clenched fists about in the air, Lana tries connecting with the punk’s nasty face without success.

LANA: I’m telling on you!

BRAD WILSON: G’wan, carrot-top — beat it!

Grabbing Lana by the face, Brad pushes her back. Sprawling, she falls to the earth. Finally deciding that enough is enough, Clark leaves Pete’s side. Clenching his fists and holding his head high, he approaches the three bullies and their victim.

CLARK: Let him alone!

Nearing Whitney, Clark shoves him, calling up all the strength available to his small body to knock the larger boy off the black boy. Unprepared for the attack, the bully is pushed over on his side.

WHITNEY FORDMAN: Hey!

Offering his hand to Kenny, Clark helps him to his feet. Positioning himself in from of the smaller boy, he acts as a shield between Kenny and the three bullies.

CLARK: (points at Brad) If you don’t let him alone, I’m going to tell Mrs. Bogdanove about you.

BRAD WILSON: (mocking) Ooh, you’re gonna tell Mrs. Bogdanove about us! (sneers) Go ahead, nigger-lover — tell her.

Brad violently grabs the front of Clark’s shirt. Baring his teeth, Clark slaps the rude hand off him.

CLARK: Don’t touch me again!

As one, the three older boys crowd in on Clark, prepared to beat the living tar out of the defiant kindergartener. Before tensions can escalate that far, one of the school teachers appears on the scene.

TEACHER: (approaches children) What’s going on here‽ What are you boys up to‽

The trio backs away from Clark and Kenny.

JASON TEAGUE: (grins) Nothin’. We’s just playin’ with the new kids.

BRAD WILSON: Yeah, we’s just playin’. (narrows eyes at Clark) Ain’t that right?

Clark stares bullets at the older boy, not speaking a word.

TEACHER: Play or no, there’ll be no rough housing on this playground. Do I make myself understood?

BRAD WILSON: (eyes on Clark) Yes.

Satisfied, the teacher departs. Once the instructor is out of earshot, the first boy looms menacingly over Clark.

BRAD WILSON: (pokes Clark in chest) You and your dog get a pass this time, runt. Next time, we’ll pummel you both into ground chuck.

At that, the three older boys move off. Once they’re gone, Clark turns to Kenny.

CLARK: You okay?

KENNY: Yeah. Thanks.

CLARK: What’s your name?

KENNY: Kenny — Kenny Braverman.

Moving in, Pete and Lana join Clark and Kenny.

PETE: It’s super how you stood up to them, Clark! I wish I was as brave as you!

LANA: (hugs Clark) I like you! You can be my boyfriend!

The amount of attention and affection proving to be too much for him to handle, Clark blushes.

INT. TRUCK/CAB — DAY

Hours later, Clark sits in the passenger side of the family Model T as Martha drives them back home.

MARTHA: Did you have a good day at school today, Clark?

CLARK: Yeah.

MARTHA: Did you make any friends?

CLARK: Three. First was Pete Ross. His pa owns a creamed corn factory.

MARTHA: Uh-huh. Your pa and I have met Mr. Ross.

CLARK: (cont’d) Then there’s Lana Lang. She’s a girl. She has pretty red hair.

MARTHA: (smiles) She’s Nell’s niece. You remember Nell.

CLARK: Uh-huh. (beat) Then there’s Kenny Braverman.

MARTHA: Braverman? I don’t recognize the name. His family must be new in town.

CLARK: Ma …

MARTHA: Yes, Clark?

CLARK: What’s “nigger” mean?

MARTHA: (faces Clark) It’s what some people call Negroes.

CLARK: Is it a bad word?

MARTHA: Yes.

CLARK: Some big kids called Kenny that. They were picking on him, shoving his face in the dirt. Why were they doing that, Ma?

MARTHA: Well, Clark, some people don’t like Negroes.

CLARK: Why don’t they like them?

MARTHA: I suppose it’s because they don’t understand them. Too many people are afraid of what they don’t understand.

CLARK: If they understood them…?

MARTHA: They’d see them as God’s children, created in His image, just as they are.

CLARK: The boys who were being mean to Kenny — could they learn to understand Negroes?

MARTHA: It’s hard for people to change, Clark, but not impossible. They’d have to want to change first.

CLARK: How can you make a person want to change?

MARTHA: The best you can do is provide a good example and hope they follow it.

CLARK: What does that mean?

MARTHA: It means that if you do good things for good reasons, those boys might think about why you’re doing them. If they think long and think hard on them, they may come around to your point of view.

CLARK: So if I show those kids that Negroes are good, they’ll learn they’re good?

MARTHA: (smiles) Something like that, honey.

Arrivederci.

Author
Time

DuracellEnergizer said:

Since reading Superman: Secret Identity, I’ve decided to depict Kryptonian abilities as mostly psionic in nature (heat vision as a form of pyrokinesis, x-ray vision and super hearing as forms of clairvoyance, etc.). To reflect this new direction, I’ve altered some of the descriptions of Clark & co’s powers.

I love Secret Identity!

Also, I guess it’s too late at this point to hope for a Legion appearance 😉. In seriousness, keep up the good work!

The Drink in Question

Author
Time

suspiciouscoffee said:

Also, I guess it’s too late at this point to hope for a Legion appearance 😉.

Not a big Legion fan, sorry to say.

In seriousness, keep up the good work!

Thanks. I hope on returning to this script soon.

Arrivederci.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

INT. BYRNE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL/CLARK’S CLASSROOM — DAY

A number of months later, Clark sits at his table in his classroom. Strangely enough, only about half of Mrs. Bogdanove’s students are present today, with only one other child sharing Clark’s table: Kenny.

CLARK: (to Kenny) Where is everybody? I haven’t seen Pete or Lana in days.

Kenny, his eyes red, looking as sick as the proverbial dog, COUGHS violently in Clark’s face, spraying droplets of saliva in the other boy’s eyes.

CLARK: (disgusted) Yuck!

KENNY: (runs hand across runny nose) Sorry, Clark.

Hearing Kenny’s coughing, Mrs. Bogdanove marches straight up to their table, an expression of concern worn across her face.

MRS. BOGDANOVE: Kenny, are you feeling alright?

KENNY: Not very, ma’am.

MRS. BOGDANOVE: (sighs) I’m going to give your father a call to come over and take you home. There’s no sense in you being here sick as you are.

KENNY: (horrified) Oh, no, ma’am! Please! I’m not that sick — not really!

MRS. BOGDANOVE: Nonsense! You’ve come down with measles, child, and I’ll not have you stay in this class one minute longer than necessary!

Turning on her heels, Mrs. Bogdanove promptly marches off in search of a telephone. Despondent, Kenny lowers his head to the table, hiding his face in his arms.

CLARK: Oh, c’mon, Kenny. It’s not that bad.

KENNY: You don’t know my daddy, Clark.

INT. KENT HOME/LIVING ROOM — DAY

Jonathan is seated in his armchair, feet propped up on a footstool, reading through a pulp magazine when Clark and Martha enter the room.

JONATHAN: (faces Clark) Have a good day in school today, son?

CLARK: It was okay, I guess. (beat) There weren’t many kids in class today and Kenny got sent home early; he wasn’t feeling very good. (grimaces) He sneezed on me. That was gross.

JONATHAN: (frowns) He sneezed on you?

CLARK: Right in my face.

JONATHAN: Go wash up.

CLARK: I feel fine, Pa.

JONATHAN: Doesn’t matter. Go wash your face and don’t forget to use soap.

Shrugging, Clark leaves the living room in search of a sink. Martha takes a seat across from her husband.

MARTHA: It’s measles; most of the children have come down with it. (beat) I hope Clark doesn’t get sick.

A moment of silence passes between them.

JONATHAN: Has Clark ever been sick, Martha?

MARTHA: Hmm?

JONATHAN: Really, Martha, think. In the six years Clark’s been with us, have you ever seen him come down with a fever, a cough, a single, solitary sniffle?

MARTHA: (frowns) Of course I have!

JONATHAN: Name a time.

MARTHA: Well, I … I …

JONATHAN: Remember last November, when we were both struck down with the flu? We were so sick we couldn’t care for Clark at all; we had to leave him with your brother, Kendall, ‘til we got over it. Clark, though, he remained chipper as a jaybird. Then there was the March before, when Lana got chicken pox. He surely should have caught it from her; he didn’t.

MARTHA: He’s been lucky, that’s all.

JONATHAN: (skeptical) Mayhap….

MARTHA: Jonathan Kent, what are you saying? That our boy can’t ever get sick‽

JONATHAN: I’m not saying anything. (beat) It’s just queer — damned queer.

Arrivederci.